CNN quoted far-right blogger Steve Sailer on Obama, without noting background denigrating minorities

››› ››› MAX BLUMENTHAL

In a CNN.com article accompanying the network's "Black in America" project, Steve Sailer, who was quoted in the article, was identified only as a "columnist for The American Conservative magazine." The article omitted any mention of Sailer's racially tinged views or his extremist associations, including his writing for VDARE.com, an "anti-immigrant" website that acknowledges publishing the work of "white nationalists."

On July 22, as part of its "Black in America" project, CNN posted an article on its website headlined, "Could an Obama presidency hurt black Americans?" The article, by correspondent John Blake, quoted from a 2007 column by Steve Sailer, a writer CNN identified simply as "a columnist for The American Conservative magazine." But as the Southern Poverty Law Center reported on its Hatewatch blog, there is much more to Sailer's background, none of which CNN noted. In fact, in blog posts on VDARE.com and on his own website, Sailer routinely denigrates minorities. Nor did Blake note the origin of the quotes he included in his article: a January 2, 2007, VDARE.com article in which Sailer called Sen. Barack Obama a "wigger" and mocked him as "a remarkably exotic variety of the faux African-American."

Sailer's column linked to a Wikipedia entry on the word "wigger," which, at the time, read: "Wigger (alternatively spelled wigga or whigger or whigga) is a slang term that refers to a white person who emulates mannerisms, slangs and fashions stereotypically associated with urban African Americans; especially in relation to hip hop culture."

From Blake's July 22 CNN.com article:

Steve Sailer, a columnist for The American Conservative magazine, wrote last year that some whites who support Obama aren't driven primarily by a desire for change.

They want something else Obama offers them: "White Guilt Repellent," he wrote.

"So many whites want to be able to say, 'I'm not one of them, those bad whites. ... Hey, I voted for a black guy for president,'" Sailer wrote.

Sailer cited another reason why many whites want Obama as president:

"They hope that when a black finally moves into the White House, it will prove to African-Americans, once and for all, that white animus isn't the cause of their troubles. All blacks have to do is to act like President Obama -- and their problems will be over."

As Media Matters for America has noted, VDARE.com is a far-right anti-immigrant web magazine named for Virginia Dare, the first child of English descent born in the New World in the 16th century. In 2003, SPLC added VDARE.com to its list of hate websites. Peter Brimelow, who operates VDARE.com through his nonprofit organization, the Center for American Unity, has insisted that "VDARE.COM is obviously not a 'White Supremacist' site, if for no other reason than that it publishes non-whites. We do publish writers who could fairly be described as 'white nationalists,' in that they explicitly defend the interests of American whites."

Media Matters has also noted that Sailer has written in defense of the Pioneer Fund, an organization designated a "hate group" by the SPLC for its support of the work of white supremacists, eugenicists, and others dedicated to proving the genetic superiority of certain races. Sailer additionally describes himself on his website as "founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute," which claims it "promotes the study of biological differences among humans and their impact on society."

After the Hurricane Katrina disaster, Sailer wrote in a September 3, 2005, VDARE.com column that the "unofficial state motto" of Louisiana, "Let the good times roll," is "an especially risky message for African-Americans." He continued: "The plain fact is that they [African-Americans] tend to possess poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups. Thus they need stricter moral guidance from society." Sailer then declared that "there was only minimal looting after the horrendous 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan -- because, when you get down to it, Japanese aren't blacks." Later, he stated: "Poor black people seldom cooperate well with each other because they don't trust other blacks much, for the perfectly rational reason that they commit large numbers of crimes against each other."

In a September 5, 2005, post on National Review Online's The Corner, New York Post columnist John Podhoretz condemned Sailer's "shockingly racist" column on Katrina as containing "the most disgusting sentence yet written about Katrina." Podhoretz added: "Nobody with the unspeakable gall and tastelessness to write such sentences should be suggesting that any other person on earth requires 'stricter moral guidance.' "

From Sailer's January 2, 2007, column, titled, "White Guilt, Obamania, And The Reality Of Race":

Obama is constantly compared to Tiger Woods. But he differs in two ways. First, his list of accomplishments in his chosen profession is a lot shorter than the golfer's. And, second, Woods rejected Nike's suggestion that he identify himself as solely black to maximize his marketability in America because he did not want to reject his mother and more distant non-black ancestors. Woods declared himself "Caublinasian," his childhood term for his Caucasian, black, American Indian, and Asian ancestry.

In contrast, like Oscar-winner Halle Berry, Obama identifies as black although that requires symbolically disowning his white mother and maternal grandparents -- despite the fact that they did far more for him than the Kenyan father who abandoned him when he was two.

[...]

The brutal truth: Obama is a "wigger". He's a remarkably exotic variety of the faux African-American, but a wigger nonetheless. He has no ancestors who were slaves in the U.S. Moreover, his upbringing by his white mother and Indonesian stepfather in Indonesia and by his white grandparents in Hawaii, where mixed-race children are close to the norm, was almost wholly divorced from African-American life ... except for what he could see and aspire to on TV.

Even genetically, Obama, whose East African descent is apparent in his unusual features, has only a distant relationship to the West Africans who are the ancestors of almost all African-Americans. (Here are photos of Obama with Jesse Jackson and with the rapper Ludacris, both of whom have conventional West African features.)

But details like these just seem to make this nominal African-American that much more attractive to whites.

So why are so many whites, especially in the media, excited about promoting Obama for President in 2008?

[...]

Supporting Obama for President, like supporting Powell a decade ago, is seen by many whites as the ultimate in White Guilt Repellent.

It's important to understand, however, that White Guilt is very different from, say, Catholic Guilt, which consists of straightforward feelings of personal moral failure.

In comparison, I don't recall ever meeting any white person who personally felt guilty for the troubles of African-Americans. But I've known many whites who want to loudly blame other whites for black difficulties.

Some whites at least heap guilt upon their own ancestors, but many who publicly proclaim the reality of White Guilt aren't averse to noting that their own forefathers arrived at Ellis Island long after slavery was over.

In other words, White Guilt is just another ploy in the Great American White Status Struggle. Minorities are merely props for asserting moral superiority over other whites.

Finding and punishing Guilty Whites has become a national obsession. One notorious current example: the framing of the Duke lacrosse players by Durham district attorney Mike Nifong (with the enthusiastic assistance of the New York Times) in the endless hunt for what Tom Wolfe called "the Great White Defendant."

So, many whites want to be able to say, "I'm not one of them, those bad whites, like that guy on Seinfeld. Hey, I voted for a black guy for President!"

Plus, I suspect there's an even more hidden reason many whites wish Obama is elected President: They hope that when a black finally moves into the White House, it will prove to African-Americans, once and for all, that white animus isn't the cause of their troubles. All blacks have to do is to act like President Obama -- and their problems will be over!

Posted In
Diversity & Discrimination, Race & Ethnicity
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Steve Sailer
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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